Five years ago, I had the good fortune of launching a new company with two luminaries in the networking space – Bob Friday and Brett Galloway. Together, we recognized that the world of IT was at an inflection point whereby the old, reactive way of delivering services needed to be replaced by a new model built on AI-driven automation and user insight.
Wireless is at the forefront of this IT revolution. Wi-Fi is increasingly becoming the primary access mechanism for most companies, yet it is harder than ever to operate and manage WLANs given the vast array of devices, operating systems and applications. The top WLAN vendors are dealing with platforms that are over a decade old, making it difficult – if not downright impossible – to leverage the latest cloud, AI and wireless technologies to meet modern mobile user needs.
So, we started with a clean sheet of paper and set out to disrupt the Wi-Fi establishment with the first AI-driven wireless LAN. With groundbreaking features like customizable service levels, dynamic packet capture, virtual Bluetooth LE and an AI-driven network assistant, Mist took the industry by storm. In a short period of time, Mist Systems has become the WLAN of choice for some of the best and boldest companies in the world – from top retailers and e-tailers, to the most prestigious hospitals and universities. The Mist team is blessed to have had such success, and for that I am extremely grateful.
In 2018, we made a strategic decision to take our AI expertise and expand it to other parts of the IT stack for end-to-end visibility and automated troubleshooting. We created partnerships with leaders in networking and security to integrate the Mist Learning WLAN with their respective solutions. One of these premier partners was Juniper Networks, with whom we shared a common vision of using AI to transform the network experience. What started as simple conversations around AI for IT turned into actual product integration with Juniper that enabled joint customers, like Dartmouth College, to completely transform their IT infrastructures.
As partners, both companies knew that we were onto something really amazing, so the conversations deepened around how we could work even more closely together going forward. While there were several options available to us, it became clear that one made the most sense – for Mist to become a part of Juniper. To that end, I am pleased to say that the two companies have agreed to terms for an acquisition (read the press release here).
As this was a big move for Mist, I wanted to personally explain what this change means to our customers and partners.
First and foremost, the Mist business and the Mist brand will continue fully intact under the Juniper umbrella. Both companies value the Mist name as a symbol of next generation networking – born in the modern cloud with AI in the core. In addition:
- Mist’s engineering and support teams will all remain unchanged so that they can continue to deliver the great products and services customers have grown to depend on.
- Sales and channels will continue under Mist leadership, avoiding any disruption to our go-to-market engine.
- Mist’s full executive team is on board, ensuring that the transition is as seamless as possible.
What will change? I am pleased to say that this acquisition will benefit our customers in several ways, which includes:
- More resources at our disposal. We will partner with key Juniper resources to grow the Mist solution business and accelerate the adoption of AI-driven networks worldwide.
- Fully global footprint. There will soon be trained Mist sales and support personnel + partners globally. This allows us to more efficiently (and quickly) meet the needs of larger deployments and expand into new markets.
- Fully integrated network solution powered by AI. Combining Mist’s wireless LAN with Juniper’s best-in-class solutions for multi-rate switching, routing and SD-WAN, and security means customers now have a comprehensive solution for networking that can take advantage of AI-driven automation and insight across the whole networking stack.
These are exciting times for Mist and Juniper. Not only do we share a common vison of AI for IT, but we are collectively taking the actions necessary to lead the industry in this all-important transition. Thank you for your ongoing support of Mist and we look forward to sharing even greater milestones with you as part of the Juniper family!